Navigating Shadows: The Impact of Social Stigma on the Mental Health of the Transgender Community in South Asia


  • Danish Suleman
  • Aisha Kashif
  • Seema Gul
  • Suriya Hamid
  • Asma Yunus



This qualitative study explores the intricate relationship between social stigma and mental health among the transgender community in Lahore, Pakistan, and Delhi, India. Through 16 in-depth interviews, the research employs thematic analysis to uncover the core themes that emerge from the personal narratives of transgender individuals in these culturally diverse yet challenging environments. The thematic analysis revealed several key themes: the pervasive impact of societal rejection, the psychological toll of discrimination, resilience in the face of adversity, and the quest for identity and acceptance. Participants' accounts vividly portray the harsh realities of living as a transgender individual in societies where deep-seated stigma is prevalent. Many described experiences of ostracization from family and community, leading to feelings of isolation and psychological distress. The stigma associated with their gender identity often resulted in discrimination in various spheres of life, including employment, healthcare, and social interactions, further exacerbating their mental health challenges. Despite these adversities, a recurring theme of resilience emerged. Participants shared coping strategies and support systems that helped them navigate these challenges. The stories highlighted not only their struggles but also their strength and determination to live authentically. This study sheds light on the urgent need for societal change and policy reform to support the mental health and well-being of the transgender community in Lahore and Delhi. The findings provide valuable insights for mental health professionals, policymakers, and advocates, emphasizing the importance of creating inclusive and supportive environments that respect and affirm transgender identities.




How to Cite

Suleman, D. ., Kashif, A. ., Gul, S. ., Hamid, S. ., & Yunus, A. . (2023). Navigating Shadows: The Impact of Social Stigma on the Mental Health of the Transgender Community in South Asia . Migration Letters, 21(1), 167–181.




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